Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Adoption?

I have written about adoption a few times here, but always in the sense of "we are just not there yet." Adoption has felt like something that is intricately linked to infertility - what infertile has not thought about it and wondered if that is the path they will end up taking - but has also felt like a topic people offer as an "easy" solution to infertility. Like infertility equals adoption. And that has been hard for me, because I feel like it doesn't allow any space for me to grieve what infertility is, but some cultural force "out there" wants to slap a band-aid on it with the "just adopt" message. I think that is one reason I have resisted thinking too much about adoption.

Plus, the honest truth is that it just hurts so much to think about adoption because it fully acknowledges that we will {most likely} not have biological children. I have not been able to do that much before, but DH and I have talked a lot more about adoption these past couple weeks. It's still hard, but we are there.

I have lot of thoughts and emotions about us adopting that I want to share here, but I confess I am scared to do so. I feel like adoption is such a "hot topic" that people have very strong opinions about. And many of the vocal ones seem to think people grieving the loss of biological children shouldn't adopt because their kids will feel like they were a "2nd choice," among other things. I also feel scared of offending those of you who have adopted as I wrestle with doubts, fears, and questions about adoption...all while continuing to grieve. So how do I sit in this place and write what is in my heart?

For those of you who have written about adoption and/ or adopted, how did you handle this?

We are meeting with the RE on December 20. He has actually called me twice since the BFN, but I let it go to voicemail because I couldn't face talking to him. I don't know what he will say when we meet with him. After other negative cycles I have wondered if "that was it," but he has always reassured us and made us feel like it was worth it to keep trying. Will that happen here again? Do we WANT that to happen, or will we be stubbornly unconvinced no matter what he says? Will he offer to treat us for free? Because we really don't have any money left, and as much as it breaks my heart to say I honestly feel like I CANNOT spend any more money on infertility treatments that don't work. Or will he agree that perhaps this is the end of the road? And then, of course, there are the frozen eggs that I want to use but am unable to imagine will actually give us a pregnancy. So I really don't know what to expect from that appointment, how our mindset will be going into it, and if that will change at all coming out of it.

I feel like I am straddling both worlds - part of me is grieving and looking to "move on" from treatments, but another part of me doesn't know how.

18 comments:

kkasun said...

In terms of adoption, I understand where you are coming from. Sometimes adoption is something I would really like to do, other times I think about it, and it scares me (for a lot of reasons). I think in terms of writting about it, you should say what is on your mind. Just like anything else you blog about, you are voicing your feelings, and there are no bad intentions. Good luck talking to your RE!

Anonymous said...

I have been reading your blog for a while now and while my infertility story is different from yours, I cant help but truly sympathize and empathize with you. my heart breaks reading about your struggles on whether or not to talk about adoption and in all honestly.... you need to talk it out and anyone who judges you--just doesnt have a heart. just take each day as it is and the answers (whatever they may be) will come to you. and no matter what, you WILL FIND HAPPINESS somehow :). Stay strong....

Britney said...

I've always admired your honesty, and this is no exception. i think i've told you before we adopted our son domestically 2 years ago, and are now pregnant through embryo adoption. yes, you do have to grieve infertility and the loss of that "fantasy" biological child. It's okay to sit in that grief; it's just not okay to stay there.
For me and my husband, we got to a point where it was just more important to be parents than to pass on our genes. Of course, having a bio child is more than passing on your genes, but you get what i'm saying. we believed that God was calling us to adopt, and that our efforts to do anything else would be fruitless. So we were obedient. And I have to tell you, it has been the BIGGEST source of blessing in our lives. I honestly can tell you we could not love a bio child any more than we love our son. That is just a God thing.
Now, in fact, even through embryo adoption, I'm wondering if I can love this child more than I love my son.
Remember, just because you don't get pregnant now doesn't mean you won't ever get pregnant. There are bazillions of stories, i'm sure you've heard, that attest to that. But, I'm a big believer in obedience to God. God doesn't say "no" flippantly or for no good reason. He only says no when it affects our destiny. For us, our destiny was for our first child to come through domestic adoption; our second through embryo adoption; and I'm not even going to pretent to put God in a box as far as what He will do next.
If you are at all considering adoption, pray about it, research it, talk to people, and pray about it more. It's not fair for you or the child to go into adoption feeling as if it is the second best option. From someone who has been blessed enough to be there, I can tell you hands down, it was the best option for us -- nothing second about it.

Melody said...

I think as far as writing about it on your blog you just need to keep voicing how you feel. And your feelings may change. I think I remember seeing how God over time prepared your heart towards IVF. If I remember correctly, at one time you were not totally there in your heart and then as you prayed more about it and sought God you were totally on board with it. I would say look at how God has led you in the past. I don't mean the results but the process in which He led you to make decisions. He will continue to guide you in the same way with upcoming decisions. It will become clear. I know your faith is strong enough to know that a BFN doesn't mean you missed what God was telling you to do. He had purpose in it. And He has purpose in the next steps He is calling you to. I'm not so sure Moses and his army were totally gung-ho about stepping their foot into the rushing waters of the Red Sea and yet when they did God was mighty to save. Maybe they were still scared as they walked through on dry land....thinking that any minute the whole thing could cave in on them but they just took that next step and when they made it to the other side I can only imagine the rush of excitement and relief in taking those steps of faith. If you are not excited and all whoo-hoo girl about adoption I don't think you should feel guilty about that. I think sometimes our hearts need more time to catch up with what God might be doing in our lives. If He's calling you to it, your heart will catch up soon enough. It just will.

Leah said...

You are so right Hillary. Adoption is such a hot topic, and something people are so passionate about.

I know you've followed my story, and I just want to say this, I truly believe you don't ever get over infertility. It's like a death in the family. Time makes the wound less fresh, but it will always be there. That's the unfortunate truth about it. I quickly learned that there is no band aid that will fix infertility. And only someone who has never experienced infertility would ever think that there was.

I was in the adoption process for a few months when I was surprised with a pregnancy. Those few months, I can honestly say I was SO HAPPY to be adopting. Thrilled actually! I was going to be a Mom! It took me almost 2 years of trying to conceive to even be able to think about adopting, but once it became my path, I was thrilled about it. And for me, I started the adoption process after I realized that my main goal in all of this was to be a Mom. And yes, I always wanted a baby that was half me, and half my husband, but that does not mean I love my son any less. Every day, I thank God that I get to be his Mom. Something I know I am not worthy of.

Whatever your heart decides, I have no doubt it will be the best decision for you and your family. What's amazing during times like this is our resilience as humans. You are a resilient, beautiful woman, and someday you will look back at all of this as a monumental time in your life. Everything you have gone through and are going through is life changing, and it will no doubt shape who you are, and who you will become. And although adoption may not have been part of your master plan, once you have a child, that child will never feel like your second choice.

Wherever your heart leads you, I wish you all the peace in the world. And I still have no doubt in the world that you will be a Mom. :)

Anonymous said...

I've been following your blog for some time now. I did 3 fresh cycles with my own eggs. All 3 cycles resulted in BFNs. After the last failed cycle my RE suggested that we use donor eggs. I didn't know anything about donor eggs, and really didn't think it was something I would even consider. I also felt unsure about adoption, but knew that I wanted to be a mommy and using my own eggs just wasn't going to make that happen. I spent about 8 months thinking, praying, and learning about donor eggs. I now have a 2.5 yr old dd thanks to donor eggs. I really wanted to be able to be preggy and have a child that was still a part of my dh. Using donor eggs made these two things possible. There's a field of study that looks into how a women's body influences all aspects of a child's life while she is carrying the child. I can't remember the name of it, but think it's something like epigenetics. So, even though I may not be genetically related to my dd, I am still biologically connected to her. I know from reading your blog that you want to experience pregnancy, so you could ask your RE about using donor eggs. Even if you don't want to consider it right now, it never hurts to ask. I pray that you will become a mother, whether it be through adoption, using your frozen eggs, donor eggs, or donor embies.
LKL

Melis.sa said...

((HUG))

I think grieving infertility and failed treatments is normal and needs to be done. I don't think anything can actually be a band aid for IF, wait, maybe some wine. Only kidding.

This is your blog and I think you are allowed to say however you feel on it and people can deal with it or click away.

I hope your RE can offer some words of comfort or will have you guys do an FET for free.

andreajennine said...

I had many similar thoughts about adoption (including the worries about sharing those thoughts publicly!). There was a message by John Piper that helped me with those feelings of Plan A v. Plan B (look in my blog archives under the "adoption" category for the link). Before I got pregnant, Aaron and I were talking about adoption a lot. We felt like we didn't want to adopt JUST because we couldn't get pregnant; we wanted to feel a specific calling from God to adopt, and we weren't sensing that yet. But I trusted that God would work through my hesitations and fears and give me the desire to adopt if that was his plan for us. Now, I would definitely be interested in adopting as a way to add to our family someday. In the meantime, we're seeking to support friends who are pursuing adoptions.

kdactyl said...

Hillary: You are in a tough spot. For us...adoption was always a wonderful option...we just had to get there...we knew it would happen and were okay with that and then we got lucky on our last IVF try and got our beautiful son....however...we knew we wanted another child and we didn't eve try IVF again...we went strait to adoption...we explored domestic adoption, foster adopt and embryo adoption and settled on embryo adoption. For us, adoption never seemed like a bandaid...we always thought it would be a wonderful option for us. I will admit I had to grieve the thought of not having a biological child....and was actually into the grieving process when we got pregnant with our son...but I just have always seen adoption as so darn special...Two of my best friends are adopted so I just have always had such a wonderful impression of how God can orchestrate creating families in a different way. We just had our adopted embryo baby 3 weeks ago, a beautiful baby girl who fits into our family sooooo well. We feel so blessed and so complete and her genetics really have nothing to do with it. I do have to admit that I'm tired of people asking "who has dark hair in the family?"...because people just assume she is biologically ours because I gave birth to her. But, I have taken this as an opportunity to share the wonders of adoption and gladly tell them that she is a precious gift to us through embryo donation....It is definitely different than with a bio-child....but also just as wonderful and exciting. I really hope you and DH get to experience this either through continued fertility attempts or through some form of adoption....because in the end....you will NEVER regret moving on to different options but you very will WILL regret NOT trying other options. God brings us our children in many ways and they are all what is "meant to be" in HIS plan. So keep your mind open and don't be afraid to say whatever you feel here on your blog...that is what this forum is all about. I know you will be 100% supported in whatever decision you make.
Many hugs,
Karaleen

A said...

File this under "do as i say, not as i do" ;-)

I say it's your blog, so you should write your true heart out!

However,....

We have talked about domestic adoption because, as you say, it is so often set forth as the obvious and joyful and right answer to infertility. But because I also have a few close friends who are SO called to adopt, I don't to write about our anger towards the process, or our distrust in the birthmom, or our frustration at the cost. We have NO peace about it, and for people who are truly called to adopt, I think that is really hard/impossible to understand.

So I understand the hesitation to write what you really feel because there are so many people who are so in love with adoption!! You can always email me if you want to ramble about it :)

Kakunaa said...

Here's what I think...adoption is great. And it doesn't make your children any less yours. And if you don't know right now, then research is good without having to make decisions yet.

Kakunaa said...

I think if you don't know yet, then it's time for research. I also think it's not settling, and you won't love your children any less if they are adopted. If a child or children is your goal, then adoption makes that happen, and gives children who might otherwise not have anywhere to go loving parents. I have friends who were adopted. And if it is right for you, Hillary, you know you will receive a sign. Your faith will lead you there.

Mrs. Hoppy said...

You are in a really hard place right now so I think it's totally natural that you would be feeling torn and confused. The great news is that you can ALWAYS change your mind. If you don't persue any other treatments with your RE, you can change your mind next year. If you decide adoption isn't for you, you can change your mind and look into it in the future. I think it's great that you are open and honest about your feelings on your blog - you should be able to be. A lot of people don't understand the grieving process that goes along with IF until they have been there. I've been in the decision-making-place you are now and my only advice is to take your time. And remember that you can always change your mind. Big ((hugs)) Hillary

Anonymous said...

Wow! Though DH and I are a few steps behind youin the IF process, I so understand your struggles. I, too, have followed your journey and appreciate your honesty. As I've tried to make my way through this process I've been blessed to find some wonderful blogs. I'm not sure if you're familiar with this blog, but I L.O.V.E. Heart Cries (http://rebekahpinchback.blogspot.com/). She has such an amazing story (and has been scary honest about it) and is an excellent example of a Christ led life. I would recommend her blog to any family praying about adoption. My prayers for a family are with you!

Missy said...

I am in almost the same spot. Thinking of starting adoption if this cycle doesn't work, but not sure how you know it is right for you. The idea that adoption is the second best option is hard to shake since we never thought about it until infertility happened. But does that mean we can't go down that road?

heartincharge said...

You have already gotten some great comments that I'm sure will bring you lots of comfort and confidence. I just want to say thank you for your honesty. I too waiver in my feelings about adoption between horror, ambivalence and excitement and I appreciate you being so open about it.

cowgirltn said...

Hilary I am praying that god swings the door to your path forward wide open, that he heals your heart and spirit. Even take a moment or two to get angry with him to yell and scream. He can take it he knows the hurt you feel and wants you to know he loves you. Once your grief, sadness and anger start to heal you will be able to see your path more clearly. You deserve time to heal and process the "why" of it all.

I believe adoption is something god calls us to do. You will know in your heart when and if the time comes to adopt.

I have a online friend I follow who went through IVF 3 times with no success. She is now moving onto adoption and is at peace with their decision. Here name is Amber and she is great. Here is her blog. http://ourgreatanticipation.blogspot.com/

Kelli said...

I keep reminding myself that I need to watch some of my comments to other infertiles because I am SO pro-adoption these days. I want to tell everyone who is waiting and hurting "DO IT! IT ROCKS!" But, I have to remember that adoption is not for everyone and, although it has thoroughly enriched our lives and been an amazing blessing to us, it might not be the path for someone else. I have always known you to be someone who not only listens to her heart, but more importantly, you listen to God's whispers and nudges. Keep praying, keep an open mind, and keep hoping...God has big plans for your family and one way or the other you WILL be a mom. (And a fabulous one, at that!) XOXO